Shutting down for-profit schools could hurt more people than it would help
By Washington Post Editorial Board
September 10, 2016
NEVER MIND that the higher education plans of tens of thousands of students will be disrupted. Or that 8,000 people will lose their jobs. Or that American taxpayers could be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in forgiven student loans. What is apparently of most importance to the Obama administration is its ideological opposition to for-profit colleges and universities. That’s a harsh conclusion, but it is otherwise hard to explain why the Education Department has unabashedly used administrative muscle to destroy another company … .
ITT Technical Institutes, … on Tuesday abruptly announced that after 50 years in business it was shutting down more than 100 campuses in 38 states. The announcement … follows last month’s decision by the Education Department barring the school from enrolling new students using federal student aid and upping its surety requirements. The department … noting the school had been threatened with a loss of accreditation and that it was facing a number of ongoing investigations by both state and federal authorities.
What is so troubling about the department’s aggressive move — which experts presciently called a death sentence — is that not a single allegation of wrongdoing has been proven against the school. … its unilateral action without any semblance of due process is simply wrong. …
There is no question that there are shady for-profit colleges and universities that take advantage of students … failing to give them marketable skills. They should not be in business. But then the same can be said for some public and private schools, whose wretched weaknesses the government seems glad to overlook.
Accreditation board run by member colleges (public and/or non-profit colleges are many such members members) and state and Federal government “investigations” (which may find nothing)? Why does this smell like BHO’s Administration a cabal among public and non-profit colleges, blue state AGs, and its own agencies as a pretext for taking out an educational institution of the type the BHO Administration and Ds generally have been demonizing for at least a couple of years?
Call it bias disclosure or call it experience, I’m a grad of De Vry, one of the few “for-profits” older that ITT Tech. I received an excellent education from a “for-profit”, and education that has enabled me to learn and reinvent myself through a nearly 40 year career. In its student recruiting literature, De Vry claimed that major companies came to De Vry campuses to recruit new employees. I found this to be true. My first Silicon Valley job was from a hiring manager who was touring De Vry schools to staff an entire test group for a critical new project (displays for the then in development F-18 Hornet).
“Where did you go to college?” isn’t a super commonly question among co-workers, in my experience, so I’ve only met 2 ITT grads, that I’m aware of. Both were excellent. As the article indicates, there are shady fly-by-night “for-profit” outfits “out there”. ITT Tech was not one of them. ITT may eventually win if they sue the Federal government, but it will likely be a victory by a zombie. The chances of ITT reopening its schools are very slim: something like 40K students’ educations demolished; 8000 jobs destroyed; 100 campuses insta-vacant, with companies servicing them losing a significant part of their business. Aren’t government fiat and cronyism wondrous things?!
The brevity of this WashPost piece makes it feel a little cursory, but when even the WashPost recognizes this act by the Feds as a probable targeted assassination (my choice of metaphor) by BHO’s ***MAL***Administration …